The best Asian Chicken Meatballs are seasoned with garlic and ginger and coated in an irresistible sweet and spicy sauce. They make a delicious appetizer or dinner, and are ready in 30 minutes!
When you have a craving for Chinese food but don’t want to order takeout, it’s helpful to have an easy recipe like this one.
Asian chicken meatballs are a healthier option, made at home with fresh ingredients, lean ground chicken and baked in the oven, and they have all of the sweet, salty, and spicy flavors you’re looking for!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Juicy Chicken Meatballs – We’re making meatballs with ground chicken that are juicy and full of flavor. If you love this recipe, you should also try my chicken parmesan meatballs!
- Baked in the Oven – While you can cook these meatballs on the stovetop, the method I’m sharing for baking these in the oven is much easier, hands-off, and fast!
- Delicious Glaze – The mixture of soy, garlic, sriracha, and honey glazes these chicken meatballs perfectly. It’s a well-balanced blend of sweet, spicy, salty, and umami that everyone will enjoy.
- Perfect Party Food – Meatballs are always welcome at football parties, holiday events, and anywhere that people gather. Pop some toothpicks in these meatballs to create an appetizer that everyone will rave about.
Ingredients In Asian Chicken Meatballs
Here’s what you need to make these tasty chicken meatballs with a sweet and spicy sauce:
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
For the Meatballs:
- Ground Chicken: Choose this lean ground meat to make these healthy meatballs. Ground turkey can also be used.
- Onion, Garlic, Ginger: These fresh veggies are a way to add moisture to the mixture, and also lots of savory flavor. Use a fresh piece of garlic, and grate it with a Microplane. Dried ginger just isn’t the same.
- Breadcrumbs and Egg: To hold the ground chicken together, breadcrumbs and egg help to create structure in meatballs.
- Toasted Sesame Oil: This savory, smoky oil is a staple in Asian cooking. Look for it in the Asian foods section of your grocery store.
- Soy Sauce: Another staple seasoning, soy sauce is salty, umami, and rich. You can use low-sodium soy if you prefer. For a gluten-free option, choose Tamari instead of soy.
- Oil: Canola oil or other cooking oil is brushed over the meatballs as they cook to help them brown up beautifully.
For the Sauce:
- Soy Sauce and Toasted Sesame Oil: These flavors are in the meatballs, and repeated in the sauce because they’re just that good.
- Rice Vinegar: a sweet and delicate vinegar that adds the perfect amount of tartness to the glaze.
- Honey or Maple Syrup: I always have a jar of local honey in the cupboard to add to my tea, and it gets new life in this sweet and savory chicken recipe.
- Sriracha: This hot pepper sauce from Thailand, aka “Rooster Sauce” adds a bit of heat to the party! You can use less, or skip the hot sauce if you want the meatballs to be mild.
- Cornstarch slurry: A tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with a tablespoon of water is added to the sauce to make it thick and sticky.
How To Make Baked Asian Chicken Meatballs
- Get Ready: Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C, and prepare a quarter-size sheet pan with a wire rack (make sure it’s an oven-safe one, I have this set). Or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix: In a large bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients except for the oil. Mix with your hands until well combined.
The easiest way to be sure that the meatballs are well-mixed is to get in there with your hands! I like to wear gloves to keep from getting too messy. If you’d rather not, feel free to use a flexible spatula instead.
- Scoop: Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop meatballs directly onto the sheet pan fitted with a wire rack.
- Bake: Lightly spray with oil, or brush with oil using a pastry brush. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The meatballs are ready when the internal temperature reaches 165°F/74°C when tested with a kitchen thermometer.
- Make the Sauce: in a saucepan over medium heat, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, honey, and sriracha. Whisk until it’s heated through, then mix together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry, and stir that in. Cook, whisking, until the sauce has thickened, then remove from the heat.
- Toss: In a bowl, or on the baking pan, toss the meatballs with the sauce. Serve over jasmine rice, garnished with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions.
Tips for Making Asian Chicken Meatballs
Don’t Overmix. You want all of the flavorful ingredients well-distributed through the ground chicken, but you don’t want to overmix these. Overmixed chicken meatballs can have a strange texture.
Use a Scoop. A medium-sized cookie scoop helps to make sure that all of your meatballs are the same size, which means that they will all cook at the same rate. A scoop also creates rounded meatballs, so you don’t necessarily need to shape them by hand.
Instead of the Oven, you can pan-fry the meatballs in a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Turn occasionally so that they cook from all sides.
Feel Free to Double the Sauce. Serve extra sauce on the side for dipping, or save it in the fridge or freezer for another Asian-inspired meal.
If the Sauce Gets Too Thick while you’re cooking it, whisk in a bit of water to thin it out.
Keep leftovers in the fridge, sealed in an airtight container, and enjoy within 3 days.
You can freeze Asian Chicken Meatballs raw or cooked!
Either way, I recommend waiting to add the sauce until you’re ready to serve them. You can make the sauce and freeze it separately, or simply make it fresh while you reheat the frozen meatballs.
To cook raw frozen chicken meatballs, bake at 375°F/190°C for 30-35 minutes or until fully cooked.
To reheat cooked frozen chicken meatballs, bake at 375°F/190°C for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through.
What To Serve With Asian Chicken Meatballs
These tasty glazed meatballs make a wonderful party appetizer. Serve them on a plate or keep them warm in a small crockpot. Either way, they’re easy to eat with toothpicks!
To make Asian Chicken Meatballs into a meal, serve them with rice and veggies, or try some of my other Asian-inspired dishes:
- Chinese Scallion Pancakes
- California Roll Sushi Bowls
- Cream Cheese Rangoons
- Instant Pot Fried Rice
- Spicy Kani Salad
- Asian Chicken Salad
- Kung Pao Shrimp
Ground chicken meatballs must reach an internal temperature of 165°F/74°C. Use a kitchen thermometer to test the meatballs, and be sure to test a few of them, since the ones on the sides of the pan can cook faster than the ones in the center.
Yes, Substitute with gluten-free breadcrumbs and gluten-free soy sauce in this recipe.
Cooking them in the oven, on a wire rack over a baking pan is the best way that I’ve found to make meatballs that stay round!
I can’t wait for you to try these Asian Chicken Meatballs! They’re so amazing, I know that you’ll be serving them at all of your parties this season, and you’ll be making them as an easy dinner too! Don’t forget to Pin the recipe.
- 1 pound (450g) ground chicken
- 1 small yellow onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- ½ cup dried breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons oil for brushing the meatballs
For the sauce:
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- 1 teaspon sriracha
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch to make a slurry
- sesame seeds
- sliced green onions
To Make the Meatballs
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C, and prepare a quarter size sheet pan with a wire rack (make sure it’s an oven safe one). Or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients except for the oil. Best to use your hands (I like to use gloves) but you can also use a spatula if you like, and mix everything together until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Use a medium cookie scoop and scoop meatballs that are about 1 ½ tablespoons directly onto the sheet pan fitted with a wire rack. Lightly spray with oil, or brush using a pastry brush.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Optionally, for more color, place under the broiler for a minute or two. The meatballs are ready when the internal temperature reaches 165°F/74°C
To Make the Sauce:
- in a saucepan over medium heat, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, honey and sriracha. Whisk until it’s heated through.
- Mix cornstarch with water to make a slurry, and add this to the sauce. Whisk it in and cook until the sauce has thickened, then remove from the heat.
- In a bowl (or even on the baking pan if you'd like to save dishes!) toss the meatballs with the sauce. Serve, garnished with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions if desired.
- If you don’t have a quarter sheet pan, a standard half-size pan will work just as well.
- Using a wire rack to bake the meatballs allows the grease to drip away from them as they cook. If you don’t have one, simply line a baking sheet with parchment paper instead.
- Don’t overmix. Use your hands to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed, but don’t mix too much or the texture of the meatballs will be tough.
- Use a Scoop. A medium-sized cookie scoop helps to make sure that all of your meatballs are the same size, which means that they will all cook at the same rate. A scoop also creates rounded meatballs, so you don’t necessarily need to shape them by hand.
- Instead of the Oven, you can pan-fry the meatballs in a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Turn occasionally so that they cook from all sides.
- If the Sauce Gets Too Thick while you’re cooking it, whisk in a bit of water to thin it out.
- To Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, and enjoy within 3 days.
- To Freeze: Freeze meatballs either raw or cooked, but without the sauce. They can be stored for up to 3 months in the freezer. Cook raw frozen chicken meatballs at 375°F/190°C for 30-35 minutes or until fully cooked. Reheat cooked frozen meatballs for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen